Nasser Al-Marri, Director-General of the Saudi Seeds Center and the Genetic and Plant Origins Bank at the Ministry of Environment, revealed the Seeds Center’s plans for durum wheat production.
He explained that a program is being implemented in three phases to develop high-yielding and high-quality durum wheat varieties, the first of which is a short-term phase in which the seeds of some of the selected durum varieties were obtained from strains of international bodies such as ICARDA, Simit, and ACSAD.
He also mentioned a medium-term stage, in which some durum wheat imports for heat, salinity, and drought resistance were gained from international organizations such as ICARDA, CIMMYT, and ACSAD.
“The resulting cultivars are characterized by their high ability to adapt and genetic stability under different environmental conditions”, he added.
The program takes more than eight years to obtain the variety, but by following a rapid breeding program for wheat, the period will be shortened to five years, and we will have new varieties available.”
“The Saudi Ministry of Agriculture has succeeded in concluding an investment opportunity for the manufacture of durum wheat locally,” he added.
This investment opportunity intends to produce enough durum wheat in adequate quantity and quality to maximize added value while remaining 100% Saudi to attain self-sufficiency in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 goal.